I’m always cynical about so-called ‘greatest hits’ packages, and even more so when they’re used to ‘celebrate’ the life of a band that has recently passed away. Further Seems Forever have never been one of the ‘scene’s’ heavyweight acts, possibly best known for being the band that shot Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional to fame. Ironically, FSF were blighted by problem vocalists, having going through several during their life-span. ‘Hope This Finds You Well’ is a 21-track reminder about a band that recently revealed they were to split, but doesn’t feature anything a true fan won’t already have in their collection.
What ‘Hope This Finds You Well’ does prove, however, is that Jason Gleason was probably the band’s best vocalist and FSF were at their most consistent during this time. In ‘How To Start A Fire’ his vocals blaze through an attack of guitars, making the band’s sound more focused and tight. While Jon Bunch and Carrabba were also decent singers, FSF appear a tighter unit when Gleason was at the helm. Having said all that, this release is pretty much what a greatest hits package is all about – although without 21 solid gold greatest hits.
The band excel on two cover versions – N*Sync’s ‘Bye, bye, bye’ and Weezer‘s ‘Say It Ain’t So’, but there are a couple of their own songs which really stick out for me. ‘The Moon Is Down’, ‘The Sound’ and ‘Pride War’ are all major starting points for anyone new to the band and it’s good to see these songs are included here. However, this release does have the feeling it has been stretched out to cover 21 tracks – some of the songs are far from great and there’s a lack of new, unreleased or rare material that could have set this CD apart from any one of the band’s albums. Instead, this is a decent reminder of a decent band – but far from ‘great’ as the package ultimately attempts to portray.
Tooth and Nail Records